What I Hope Soccer Parents Understand

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By Tim Nash

I’ve coached girls youth soccer for a long time. And one of the reasons I still enjoy it is that every year I learn a lot.

Most years, I discover new ways to reach players, or figure out the pros and cons of certain styles of play. I learn different ways to teach technique and how to adapt to new twists in the game.

This year, I coached two teams — 04s (players born in 2004) and 03s (born in 2003). For those of you who don’t like math, the 04s were 12 or about to turn 13; the 03 were 13 or 14. Once again, I learned a lot, but the main takeaway from this year has to do with parents.

The other night, I was at a function that included my girls as well as some 10-, 11- and 12-year-old players and their families. While the girls played in the pool, I watched the parents from the younger teams interact with each other, the ones just getting started. They were having a great time reminiscing about the year. They talked about certain games, tournaments, hotels, team dinners, what a fantastic team they had, other teams they played. They spent nine months together and formed friendships that will go on for years. Continue reading